Man accused in Washington quadruple murder, arson taps new attorney

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 16, 2015 12:50 PM

By John Clarke

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The man accused of slaying a wealthy Washington businessman and his family and torching their mansion last month appeared in court on Tuesday with a new attorney to replace his public defender.

Daron Wint, 34, of Lanham, Maryland, has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of businessman Savvas Savopoulos, his wife, son and housekeeper, whose bodies were found in their burned home near the official residence of Vice President Joseph Biden.Wint, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, was asked by Superior Court Judge Rhonda Winston if he agreed to change from a public defense attorney to attorney Sean Hanover."Yes," he said.Hanover noted that Wint is from Guyana and could face deportation if convicted of the felony charges he faces."He's encouraged about the case and feels justice will be served," Hanover said.Wint is accused of holding captive construction business owner Savopoulos, his wife Amy, son Philip, 10, and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, 57, until he got $40,000 in cash, then killing them and setting fire to the house.Police have said Wint, who was identified by DNA left behind on a pizza crust at the home, once worked for Savopoulos' company, American Iron Works.Wint's next court appearance is scheduled for July 2.

(This story corrects second paragraph to read "residence" rather than "residents")

(Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Trott)